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Kale, Bean & Sausage Soup

February 12, 2016 3 comments

Kale, bean and sausage soup

A friend recently moved out of state and left me with the remains of his pantry, which included two cans of cannellini beans and a rosemary plant. Aside from garbanzo beans, we don’t eat a lot of beans in my house as they tend to cause a ton of gas. Not wanting these beans to go to waste and knowing N would probably love them, I found a very simple soup recipe on Pinterest and went about making some simple adjustments.

Bonus points that the soup called for kielbasa, a sausage I grew up eating but haven’t had in a long, long time. We went old school and picked up the Hillshire Farms version. I’m sure this soup would be great with any sausage, but the kielbasa reminded me of my childhood.

The best part? It takes very little time to pull together, a requirement now that N is running around wreaking havoc. And what? No gas? We’ve found another bean we can digest. We’ll certainly be making this again. Read more…

Categories: food, soup Tags: ,

Bo Kho (Vietnamese Beef Stew)

January 12, 2016 3 comments

Bo kho

After an unusually warm and dry year, the cold and rain have finally arrived…which means it is perfect weather for bo kho, Vietnamese beef stew. When I was a kid, I hated cooked carrots, so I would always pick them out and only eat the beef and potatoes. I LOVED dipping the french bread into the broth. Luckily, my very hungry almost 1-year-old LOVES to eat, especially cooked carrots, so I figured this would be a good way to introduce her to more Vietnamese flavors.

My mom used to make this with a combination of stew beef and oxtails, which the butchers at the grocery would give to us for free because nobody ate that stuff back then.  I set out to do the same, but I guess people have finally realized oxtails are delicious and the one store I went to wanted $10.99/lb. I opted for 2 lbs short ribs instead for less than half the price. The end result was delicious but lacked some of the gelatinous variance in texture that oxtail would have added. I highly recommend doing half ox tails and half stew beef or short ribs. Read more…

Categories: Asian, food, soup, Vietnamese Tags: , ,

Corn Soup w/Grilled Shrimp & Truffle Oil

July 30, 2013 Leave a comment

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Corn is in season! Growing up, my mom would make a ton of che bap, a Vietnamese dessert soup made with corn and coconut milk. She and my brother would go nuts over it but I never ate more than a bowl or two through the course of the summer. Why mask the natural sweetness of corn with sugar and coconut milk?

I searched for a savory corn soup recipe but it took a while to find one that didn’t require cream or milk. The original recipe is for a chilled corn soup that is strained and smooth, but as I started cooking, I either got lazy or sentimental. I didn’t do any straining, ate the soup warm and threw in some extra corn kernels for body.

After cooking, I topped it with grilled shrimp and some white truffle oil. Later in the week, I will grill some salmon to add to the soup. In the winter, I’d top the soup with a handful of Dungeness crab. Maybe I’ll add a cubed potato with the onions next time for some extra heft? Read more…

Categories: soup Tags: , ,

Italian Wedding Soup

May 15, 2013 Leave a comment

Italian Wedding Soup

We’re getting married in ~6 weeks! Neither of us are Italian. Do Italians really serve this at weddings? Whatever, the soup is tasty and I wanted meatballs in this week’s soup. I found Ina Garten’s Italian Wedding Soup recipe and made a few adjustments based on what I had, could find at the store, and felt like eating.

On Sundays, I generally make a pot of soup that’s good for ~2 nights of weeknight dinner, 2 portions for the freezer and maybe a lunch or two. The other nights include chopped salad with a grilled protein, family dinners or meals out. This one is definitely going into our weekly soup rotation.

Even better, I’ve found my new meatball recipe. They’re quick and easy (they’re baked in the oven), crispy yet tender inside without being too mushy or too firm. You don’t even have to get your hands dirty–I used a 1 inch cookie scoop. I tested half where I rolled them into round balls and left the other half kind of rough. The unrolled balls had more nooks and crannies to crisp up in the oven for a better texture. Of course, when I threw them into the soup it didn’t make much of a difference at all, so why bother getting your hands dirty?

The surprising thing about this soup for me was the use of fresh dill. As a kid, I remember being mortified that my mom would pull over on the side of the road to pick fresh dill growing out of the concrete. “It’s free!” she would excitedly exclaim while I shrunk down in my seat hoping none of my classmates would pass by. I also remember not liking the taste and begging my mom not to use dill in her soups and fishballs. She told me it wouldn’t taste as good without the dill but always made me a special portion without dill. I might normally skip the dill out of habit but the reviews mentioned that the soup was dull without it. They were right and either I’ve grown up or my taste buds have. Read more…

Categories: food, Italian, soup Tags: ,

Mushroom Barley Soup

February 8, 2013 2 comments

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I’ve been cooking but haven’t had the time or inclination to document. However, I find myself referring to past recipes I’ve posted and realize the personal value of doing so…so here we go…

In my head, I already knew what I wanted this soup to taste like. I wanted a deep mushroom flavor that would make up for a lack of meat and a substantial carb that could stand up to a few reheatings without getting mushy. Rice and pasta get too mushy too quickly; I liked the barley in my lamb stew so I simply searched the internet for a mushroom barley soup.

I liked the pictures I saw on The Shiksa In the Kitchen. However, the recipe as written used too many pots so I adjusted the instructions for a one-pot recipe. I also prefer my recipes written as whole measurements (2 carrots vs. 1 cup of carrots) so adjusted those measurements as well as the liquids required. This will be going into my regular soup rotation! Read more…

Categories: food, soup, vegetarian Tags: ,

Beef Stew

December 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Beef Stew

Our weekdays have been really busy so we’ve been alternating between soups and salads for dinner over the last few weeks. I make a big pot of soup on Sunday which covers two weeknights for us and the other two nights we have salads made from whatever looked good at the farmer’s market and a protein from the butcher.

Last week’s soup of the week was beef stew. I ate a lot of Dinty Moore beef stew growing up and hadn’t had any since I was probably 12. A random craving took hold and I ended up making a beef stew not too far in taste from what I remembered (though much, much fresher). Read more…

Categories: soup Tags: , ,

Khao Soi: Northern Thai Curry Chicken Noodles

May 30, 2012 2 comments

Khao Soi

It has been a busy month of travel (both for work and fun) so I have a lot of catching up to do.

One of the most unforgettable dishes I had when I visited Thailand in 2009 was Khao Soi, a specialty from the northern city of Chiang Mai. It is a soup dish that consists of egg noodles with chicken stewed in a coconut curry base topped with crunchy fried noodles, pickled mustard greens, cilantro and lime. Other variations that I saw included bean sprouts and fresh shallots. One of my favorite things about Thai and Vietnamese dishes is the complex and juxtaposed flavors and textures: hot and cold, soft and crunchy, fresh and pickled, spicy, sour and sweet.

Below are pictures of two amazing bowls I had in Chiang Mai: Read more…

Categories: Asian, food, noodles, soup, Thai Tags: , ,